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Dental Offices resuming procedures struggle to find PPE

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DENHAM SPRINGS – A lot of dental offices have been back to being fully staffed for more than a week. But there have been a few problems along the way.

“There's a lot of people that still don't know they can come in,” said Dr. Ed Hood, the owner of Hood Dental Care.

Dr. Hood says some patients aren't aware they can schedule an appointment, assuming only emergency procedures are being done.

“We're doing cleanings, we're doing fillings, we're doing extractions, root canals, crowns, helping people with broken teeth. We're just not doing cosmetic procedures. That would not be time sensitive,” said Hood, referring to the state Department of Health’s guidelines.

On April 27, the state expanded the healthcare industry, allowing doctors and dentists to perform procedures that are deemed as essential.

“It's good just to have some normalcy and go do the things like this that we consider a necessity,” said Larry Dyess, who went in to Hood Dental Care for a cleaning Thursday.

But going back to normal hours and procedures, Dr. Hood is struggling to find enough protection gear for his staff.

“There's still a shortage and you have to rummage. Our sales reps are doing their best to find PPE,” Dr. Hood said. "Some mom and pop shops have reached out to try to supply the area."

A lot of dental offices donated their supplies to hospitals in the beginning of the pandemic. Now they're low themselves.

“We've been, I don't want to say rationing it, but we've had to knock on other doors trying to find PPE for everybody,” Dr. Hood said.

Hood Dental Care does have enough PPE to continue services. All three locations in Watson, Zachary and Denham Springs are back to regular hours. Patients' temperatures are being taken before they walk in.


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